Hall truly was the butterfly monarch

MURRAY GREIG -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:17 AM ET

When asked to name the best netminder he's seen over the past 35 years, the man known as 'Mr. Goalie' doesn't hesitate.

"Patrick Roy," says Glenn Hall, the Hall of Fame legend who played an astounding 502 consecutive games and invented the butterfly style that Roy rode to an NHL record 551 victories.

"Patrick was always aware of where he was in the net, and he was able to use his size and reflexes very intelligently," says Hall. "If you could design a goaltender for the way the game is played today, it would be Roy. Grant Fuhr was another great one. Both those guys proved theyhad the ability to win games virtually all by himself."

Hall says his trademark butterfly style was partially based on self-preservation.

"Facing guys like Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita every day in practice in Chicago, I had to be on my toes," he says with a chuckle.

"I actually came up with it pretty early on because it was less strenuous than kneeling all the time to see the puck through the players in front of me.

"By spreading my legs to the side, I had the corners and the bottom half of the net covered and my upper body pretty well took care of the top half."

Playing behind Terry Sawchuk as a rookie with the Detroit Red Wings taught Hall another key lesson.

"Terry would bend himself almost in half to actually look underneath the screens, but it took a terrible toll on his back. Watching him - and he was incredible - made me work even harder at developing a different style."


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